We should schedule an optometrist appointment at least once a year, as a broadly accurate guide. Our aim is to identify eye symptoms as soon as possible, so we can treat them right away. The likelihood of these occurring depends on what is in our DNA, plus any injuries we sustain. The probability of some eye problems increases as we age. Before diving in, what are the commonest eye difficulties for which we should schedule an optometrist appointment?
Schedule an Optometrist Appointment for These Eye Concerns
- Age-related Macular Degeneration is a leading cause of vision loss in people over 50. It affects central vision initially, but gradually spreads across the eye at an increasing rate. Age-related macular degeneration is the main reason people become blind over the age of 65.
- Retinal detachments are a medical emergency in which a thin layer of tissue called the retina separates from the blood vessels that nourish it. Possible warning signs are flashers, floaters, and reduced vision. An eye surgeon may be able to recover the situation in the early stages.
- Cataracts are a degenerative disease that stiffens and hardens the lenses we use to focus. The condition may affect the majority of people aged over 65. If you have cloudy or blurred vision, or become sensitive to light and glare, then schedule an optometrist appointment for a checkup.
- Glaucoma occurs when fluid bulks up in the eye, eventually damaging the optic nerve and potentially causing blindness. Three million people in the U.S. developed preventable blindness this way. Symptoms may be hard to detect, necessitating an annual visit to the optometrist.
- Keratoconus is associated with an uneven cornea preventing light from focusing accurately on the retina. This slow-moving disease is readily treated using contact lenses and occasionally surgery. Have this possibility checked during your annual glaucoma visit.
- Diabetic Macular Edema results from fluid build-up in the middle part of the eye. Up to 30% of diabetes sufferers develop it after 20 years with the condition. If you have diabetes, and develop double or blurred vision, or floaters, schedule an optometrist appointment as soon as convenient.
- Ocular Hypertension occurs when fluid pressure in the middle eye increases past a threshold limit. Unlike Glaucoma there are no symptoms, although Ocular Hypertension may develop into that more serious condition. This is another good reason to see an optometrist annually.
With That behind Us, Let’s Ask Our Panel for Advice
The consensus is that healthy people under 40 should have an initial eye examination. Thereafter they may need to do nothing unless their eyesight changes or they injure their eyes. However, once over 40 they should schedule an optometrist appointment every two to four years. After they reach the age of 65 this should become an annual event.
The panel was unanimous that predisposing conditions override this advice. If you have a family history of eye difficulties, you should ask your optometrist for specialist advice. You should ask your doctor about the ocular side effects of medication if you suffer from a chronic illness. If in any doubt, it may be wise to schedule an optometrist appointment immediately.